Investing in EB-5 Programs…Good Business

For foreign capital investors who are looking to invest in viable US based projects, there is no one simple benefit to participation in the EB-5 Process. Instead, the unique blend of benefits and flexibility are numerous, making the EB-5 Immigration Program an ideal option for a number of qualified applicants. Additionally, participation can be the potential gateway to obtaining permanent residence in the US along with your spouse and some family members without the traditional waiting list.

Sound promising? The basic qualification for EB-5 participation is that the person investing in the EB-5 project has access to between $500,000 and $1,000,000 US. The amount will ultimately depend on the physical location of the project. No experience within the particular industry, education or training is required. Instead, the foreign capital investor should have an interest in business management.

One option for investors would be to consider an EB-5 franchise opportunity where the investor contributes capital into the project. Successful EB-5 project investments produce job-creating businesses through regional centers approved by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). Per the USCIS, the regional center is an economic entity that maybe a public or private entity which works to promote economic growth, regional productivity, job creation and capital investment. Qualified projects must produce at least 10 new US based jobs.

Another option is to purchase a struggling, existing business. The business must grow at least 40% and meet the standard EB-5 requirements. Additionally, the business must demonstrate distress with documented annual net loss of 20% and have been in business for at least 2 years. All funds for this option must be invested directly into the business and US based jobs must grow or remain constant with the level at time of original contribution.

Additional benefits to the investor may include:

• Retirees who are self-sufficient and want to reside in the United States
• Parents who want a child to study in the United States and obtain in-state tuition
• Foreign nationals who are reaching the 6 year limit for their H-1B visa status
• A foreign national investor in a US business who does not want to be active in the day-to-day operations of the business
• Spouses of permanent residents
• Foreign nationals with an urgent need, or desire, to become a permanent resident
• Foreign nationals who need/want to relocate to a stable region
• Many other foreign nationals who may have no other options for legal status in the United States

The many benefits of the program encourage both investors and projects to explore the various options available, and the program continues to grow and expand. In 2015, more than 8,700 I-526 petitions were approved by USCIS, accounting for over $4.378 billion in foreign direct investment. With a 77.8% increase over 2014, last year (2015) was the first year that the EB-5 Program showed its capacity to attract over $1 billion in capital investment per quarter, catalyzing local economic development across the U.S.. This equates to approximately $12 million in foreign direct investment every single day during 2015. Since the Great Recession, the program has blossomed from $3.2 million in 2008 to over $4.3 billion last year, experiencing over 1,260% growth and attracting a total of over $13.05 billion in capital investment to the U.S. in the past seven years.

To learn more about the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Program visit:

USCIS.gov or NVEB-5.org

Or call the Nevada State EB-5 Regional Center direct at: 855.498.6360

Source: Lee Li, policy analyst for IIUSA – Regional Center Business Journal IIUSA , January 2016